Come fly with me Saturday, Jan 5 2013 

Ah, flying! Remember when it was special, not like today when it’s just a step up from taking a bus? And didn’t we all think stewardesses just looked fabulous? Or was I the only little boy who used to design stewardess uniforms…

So anyway, one of the most common desires I’ve heard from girls is to fly en femme. But it’s also one of the biggest fears. Post 9/11, flying has become a mental and physical test. Getting to the airport early enough, checking in, getting into long, snaking lines for security…And then there’s the worries about getting a TSA agent that is having a bad day, or a ticket agent who is a bit transphobic, or…

It does happen. Recently an incident at Dallas’ Love Field had a transwoman detained by local police. There is some question regarding the circumstances of her being removed from the flight (she had been drinking before getting on the plane) but her treatment after being detained is highly questionable. So, yes there are legitimate reasons to have some fears.

But this is a very rare thing. Most of the time, traveling is more like what happened to JoAnn Donaldson, who flew from Washington, D.C. to Dallas over the holidays:

I left on Dec 22, 2012 and flew back to Dallas, TX to meet the wife and have Christmas with our son. I did something really different. I flew as a female. This was the first time I have ever done this and it was a gas. I did have a little problem going thru the first stage of TSA where they check your ID and ticket. The TSA agent was having a problem with my looks and my picture on my DL. I smiled and quietly suggested he call his supervisor over. He did and showed his supervisor my ID. The supervisor looked at my DL and then at me. All of a sudden he said, “Are you a..” and I quickly answered, “Yes”. He then pulled the agent away from the post and and quietly informed him of the situation. He then handed my ID and ticket back to me and said, “Thank you Mam”. I then did the next stuff. Taking my boots off, coat off, put everything on the conveyer and walk into the scanner. I exit the scanner and they want to do a pat down. I said, “OK” and this nice female TSA agent did the pat down. As I turned around I could see the scanner screen and it showed two big yellow objects at chest height. I chuckled that they were where my forms were. After the pat down, I was cleared. I got my stuff, moved out of the way, put my boots on, my coat, grabbed my carry on and continued to the gate. All in all, really no problem at all. I also traveled back to DC as a female. I had the same problems coming back. Same problem with my looks and my ID and again I tripped the scanner but this time it was because my top has metal threads. The scanners don’t like metal threads in garments. LOL So if your out to the public and plan on traveling by air as a female, it is really a no-brainer. Just be aware that not all agents has had experience with TG people, but nothing that will prevent you from traveling as a female. The only reason I asked for the supervisor was to help educate the agent that was checking tickets and ID. If your day-to-day looks has really changed compare to your picture on you DL, then it may be time to see about getting a new one. Back in Texas, you can get both a DL and a State ID card. Many girls will get a State ID card with their female picture on it and use it when they travel. I never got one because until I came to DC I wore a wig. When I got here to DC, I started letting my hair grow out and recently got it fem styled, so my looks and my Texas DL are at odds. I don’t plan on changing my DL because at present my perm residence is still Dallas, TX. Once the house sells and wife and cats move here then I will get a new VA DL and my picture will then match my looks.

 

Kimberly Huddle is a Austin-based support tech who flys often, usually en femme. She talks about her experiences in her blog, and it’s almost always positive.

I was wanting to fly en femme to Southern Comfort last year, but the fact that my flight left so early I’d be up at midnight getting ready just kinda killed it. And yeah, just a little bit of insecurity. Maybe this year?

Fly the friendly skies…

Ask Dita Sunday, Dec 30 2012 

Burlesque star and fashion icon Dita Von Teese started doing an advice column for xoJane.com on glamour. Dita’s personal style is very classic; forties/fifties vintage. She’s dressed this way most of her adult life, well before it became “cool.”

In her first column, Dita responds to a question:

Dear Dita,

I adore your glamour style! However, I personally feel sort of overdressed in high heels, stockings & dress while around people in jeans. Everybody is staring at me & asking “What’s the occasion for that?” Have you ever been in that kind of situation? How to be brave enough to go on with glamour style every day? How do you deal with unwanted attention?

Malina Kaa

 

Part of her response:

I recall a moment I had once that really cured me of feeling self-conscious. Two guys made fun of me in passing, who were both dressed in hideously ugly, stained and torn “University of Idiocy” T-shirts with mismatched shorts and some sort of offensive footwear.

I remember thinking, “Wait a minute, the fact that THESE guys think I look silly/crazy/unsexy is actually a compliment!”

 

It says much that a person who takes the time to dress nicely is considered weird, yet people who can’t be bothered to wear clean clothing are acceptable. The first time I saw a woman in pajama pants and slippers in a grocery store I just stared; now it seems like it’s acceptable to go out that way. Baseball caps with the sales stickers still on them; exercise pants with logos like “Juicy” and “Pink” on the ass; leggings worn as pants; flip-flops worn everywhere…

We accept tackiness and sloppiness as okay, but find a woman who takes time to chose her outfits, wears accessories that look right, wears makeup, has nice hair and nails, worthy of ridicule? Really?

I’ve said it time and time again. You can be a juicy, ripe peach and there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches, so you can either submit to someone’s criticism of you, or you can get on with the business of being your own amazing self who attracts other like-minded people that appreciate you.

 

…I really think we just have to forgive them, because they just don’t know, and sometimes, they even fear what they don’t know, and we should have sympathy for them. And, I have to add, that if you are already feeling uncomfortable, it might not even be that they are being rude, but their words are magnified and mirroring what you are feeling, so maybe it’s more about finding ways to find your own comfort zone and working on self-confidence.

Sometimes, you do have to just do your own thing. And the people who are worth knowing will get it-and get you. Don’t let your own self-doubts be magnified by others; find your inner strength and let it show.

Many of us who go out en femme find ourselves faced with similar issues. Even among our peers we are sometimes criticized for “overdressing” when we just want to look the best we can. Maybe we want to be, as Dita puts it, stars in the amazing story of our own lives. It’s perfectly acceptable to leave the jeans and casual blouse at home when you really want to go shopping at the mall in something stylish, or even a bit retro. And it you get attention from it, bet it’ll be positive. Particularly if you are letting your own inner positiveness show.

Now, be fabulous, okay?

What’s the big deal? Thursday, Dec 6 2012 

A couple of things converged this week that forced me to go to Sephora. First was a Friends and Family $15 gift card; second, that I was $51 short to make their Very Important Beauty Insider program. So while out Christmas shopping yesterday I stopped in at the store in Northpark Center.

I picked up a few things and one of the SA’s offered me a basket to carry them in. He asked if there was anything I needed help finding. I then explain that no, I’d found what I needed to get (a new tube of Urban Decay Primer Potion) and was just kind of looking around for things I wanted so I could get up to my VIB status. That I had to also figure in my discount meant doing math in my head-which is kind of dangerous…

I did find things I wanted and went to the checkout counter. I gave her my gift card and my Beauty Insider card so she could give be credit. She asked if I was shopping for presents; I told her I was shopping for myself. Now it might help if I mentioned that I was in drab at the time, not very feminine looking at all. She just went, “Oh” and proceeded to check me out, remarking that she loved Primer Potion. I told her I did too-it keeps eye shadows in place.

Thing is, this happened last week, too. Not at the same Sephora; I was in the one in the Galleria looking for a concealer and the SA asked who it was for and I told her myself (again, in drab). I use Makeup Forever HD foundation, and she thought their HD concealer would be a good match. She used my foundation shade to pick out a couple of concealers; when we tried them on the foundation one was an obvious choice. And of course-she was out of that particular shade. They were getting more in this week, and she gave me a sample to try. I am waiting until I can try the sample, but if it works as well as it did in the store I will be back.

Now, I have been rambling on about makeup. But if you have been paying attention, you may have noticed something. Both of these encounters were in mainstream stores where I was not only in drab, I did not hide the fact that the products were for me. I suppose I could have made up something, but you know what? Why bother? They don’t care-it’s another sale. And if I had been too shy or too worried to say it, I wouldn’t have found a new concealer.

Sometimes we worry too much about what people will think. A retailer that is successful is not going to do something to make you not want to shop at their store. A good salesperson wants you to spend your money, and if you’re pleasant and reasonable they will go out of their way for you. Because our money is as green as anyone elses…

So, go shopping. And don’t worry about what people thing. Worry about your credit card and the damage you’re doing.

Things go around Tuesday, Nov 27 2012 

About six years ago I met an artist online named Lady Arrakis, who asked if she could do a portrait of me. I sent her a few photos and this was the result:

That she gave it to me as a gift meant a lot. And it’s still one of my favorite things. Recently, I saw she’d uploaded a copy to her Deviantart page. That it still gets compliments is a credit to its creator. And I’ll take some credit as her muse :)

Thank you, m’lady.

 

Same as it ever was Monday, Nov 19 2012 

Four years ago, I wrote this about going to the Dallas Fetish Ball:

The Church is too small for the event; you can’t walk around or talk to people. The stage is hard to see unless you’re upstairs on the balcony. They’d moved the “play space” outside to the porch, which meant the place you could go if it was too noisy was unavailable unless you wanted to climb up to the rooftop-which was freezing. And the “energy” was…not there. Sure there’s a lot of people dressing up, but you kind of felt like that’s what it was-dress up. The people who I knew were seriously into the lifestyle who were there sort of stood out. Am I being jaded? Maybe? We left about 12:30-and people were still waiting to get in.

I know this is a big event in Dallas-between this and the Black and Blue Ball (done by the same people) there’s no other open fetish events. It’s a professional event, with lots of performers (though they seem to be the same ones every year). So they should know what they are doing. And considering the state of fetish/bdsm in Dallas, I shouldn’t be critical. But do you support something because it’s there, or do it because it’s worth your time?

 

So, what’s changed? The venue is still too small-by 11 PM it was nearly impossible to get around and once the show starts forget about moving. They put in a larger stage that’s higher so you can see things a bit better but if you’re not in  one of the reserved seats on the balcony you it’s difficult. They got rid of the outside play space years ago, and the indoor space is taken over by a vendor’s area.

There was a new twist this year-every seat in the Church was reserved. Including the benches in the front bar area. So there was no place to sit down until after 11 PM when they opened the rooftop, and if you got lucky you could grab a seat on one of the couches. Fortunately it was not a cold night, and there was no bar open.

The show? Well, if you’ve seen one fetish show…

At least this year they maintained the dress code most of the time I was there. And I got to see a couple of people from Twitter who were fabulous. But by midnight, I was ready to go.

I really want to like the Fetish Ball unreservedly, but I just can’t. Maybe I am getting too old for this…

How to be a FEARLESS Female – Transgender Feminization Secrets Blog Thursday, Nov 15 2012 

Nice article from Lucille Sorella’s blog on overcoming the fear and doubt: How to be a FEARLESS Female – Transgender Feminization Secrets Blog.

Just a test Friday, Nov 9 2012 

Testing the crossposting function of WordPress; don’t mind me.

Indonesia’s Transsexual Muslims Tuesday, Nov 6 2012 

In a country where 86% of the population is Muslim, and there is a strict separation between men and women, those who do not fit in are often left out. A Muslim school for the waria-the transgendered of Indonisia-is the subject of a documentary by Vice.

Catching up Sunday, Sep 30 2012 

So, what’s been going on? I’ve gone out a few times. I’m loving going out to the goth nights at Panoptikon and The Church again. Dressing up in my favorite things, and meeting people. I’ve been lucky enough to get in touch with someone who is from New Orleans who used to go to GGA when I was there and we’re trying to keep in touch. I’ve done one ‘nilla night in the Gayborhood. Dinner at Black Eye Pea, then to Sue Ellen’s and S4. The CD’s night out…

I did get to go to Southern Comfort this year, despite huge money worries. Fortunately I had some angels, and things happened. It was a smaller event than last year, and it felt like it. Some of the people I really look forward to seeing weren’t there, and I missed them. Made a few new friends, and got to spend time with people I really like spending time with, so it’s all good. And I got a cool trophy, too! Yes, I’ll post a shot of it later…

A lot of time spent dealing with family issues. An aging parent brings on new responsibilities and time issues. Spouse who works far too hard and has her own issues. My own issues, which seem to be getting no better. Life is complex, still.

Coming up? More goth nights, I hope. More time with friends. More family issues.

JWHD – Stuff Crossdressers Say @JessicaWhoHD – YouTube Friday, Jul 27 2012 

Stuff that crossdressers say. And if you are one, you’ve said at least half of these…

 

via JWHD – Stuff Crossdressers Say @JessicaWhoHD – YouTube.

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